An article from BEITEN BURKHARDT

On 22 April 2020 the grand coalition agreed on an increased short-time working allowance and thereby distributed generous presents. What does that mean?

Initial situation

Short-time working allowance, as a payment out of unemployment insurance, is intended to compensate for the loss of earnings suffered by employees as a result reduced working hours. During a period of short-time working, employees receive ‑ for the work they actually perform ‑ the corresponding remuneration on a pro-rata basis. In addition, employees receive short-time working allowance for the reduction in working hours. The short-time working allowance is calculated on the basis of the net loss of earnings. It generally amounts to 60% of the standard net remuneration (remuneration for services rendered, pauschaliertes Nettoentgelt). 

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The Coronavirus in Asia and ASEAN – Live Updates by Country

ASEAN briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

ASEAN coronavirus updates (Live updates by country)

Brunei: No new cases reported in Brunei.

Cambodia: No new cases reported in Cambodia.

Indonesia: A further 395 new cases were reported on May 4, bringing the total to 11,587.

Laos: No new cases reported in Laos.

Singapore: Singapore recorded 573 new cases on May 4, taking the national total to 18,778.

Vietnam: As of May 4, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 271 cases of COVID-19. However, 219 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

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COVID-19: Vietnam Issues Financial Assistance for Employers, Employees

Vietnam briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

  • Vietnam has issued Resolution No. 42 to help employers and employees affected by COVID-19.
  • The Resolution consists of a financial package targeting six individual and business types.
  • The incentives are the latest to help the economy recover and support businesses once the pandemic ends.

Vietnam on April 9 issued Resolution No. 42/NQ-CP (Resolution 42) to help individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resolution consists of a financial package for those affected by the pandemic and targets six categories of individuals and businesses. 

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China’s COVID-19 Travel Ban: How to Handle Your Foreign Employee’s Work and Residence Permit

Since March 28, 2020, China has suspended the entry of most foreign nationals, citing the temporary measure as a response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world.

This means that foreigners who hold the following visas are currently not allowed to enter the country:

  • Chinese visa;
  • Residence permit;
  • APEC business travel card; and/or
  • Port visa (including various visa-free transit policies).

Due to these new travel restrictions, which so far have presented no expiration date, many foreign nationals who hold a residence permit in China for working purposes are stuck outside of China during this time.

Many companies are now grappling with new HR, legal, and tax uncertainties that have arisen within their foreign employment relationship in the context of these new travel restrictions.

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COVID-19: Transitioning Your Business for Remote Work in Vietnam

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to rethink efficient strategies for remote work.
  • Businesses now have to rely on digital infrastructure to keep their systems up to date, while managing an increasing number of employees working from home.
  • We highlight some guidelines that businesses can adopt as businesses transition for remote work.

With the current outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the globe, businesses are having to consider how to effectively utilize their employees under the situation where physical contact between individuals is being restricted to a very high degree. 

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Ultimate Guide to Expat Jobs in Ukraine

An article by Expatriant


Entry-level sales and marketing salaries for native English or German speakers tend to start at a similar level as teaching. That is, you can expect to earn USD 800 as an entry-level copywriter, content marketer, or in international sales. If you have extensive experience, you can do quite well in Ukraine by local standards. For skilled marketers and sales professionals, you can earn USD 5000+ per month.

The next category of workers I would consider highly qualified. These are your CEO, President and Vice President level employees. Generally, if a company needs a foreigner to fill these positions, they will approach locally managed executive search firms. They won’t be posted on typical job boards. Salaries will be very lucrative, and range from USD 10,000 – USD 50,000+ per month. This, of course, depends on the industry, and size of the company.

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An Introduction to Doing Business in Vietnam 2020

Vietnam briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

Vietnam continues to prioritize infrastructure investment and does not shy away from looking at countries outside ASEAN to fuel its growth. The government has also invested in industrial zones and this investment is expected to further increase as foreign investment pours in. These reasons have made Vietnam one of the fastest growing economies in Asia maintaining a 7 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019. In addition, Vietnam’s labor force is a competitive advantage and is an important part of Vietnam’s future economic growth. Vietnam is known for its young, hardworking, literate and easy to train workforce.

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Legal News, April 2020: Central and Eastern Europe

CEE Newsletter from bnt attorneys in CEE

New regulations for the employment of foreigners in Germany

It will now be easier to employ qualified employees even without a university degree. At the beginning of March 2020, the Specialist Immigration Act came into force. It newly regulates the education and employment of foreigners and facilitates the immigration of qualified employees to Germany.

Access the e-newsletter here


COVID-19 in India: 5 Best Practices for Businesses Implementing Work-From-Home

Navigating the work from home model can be difficult, especially for businesses that have no experience with remote operations. Therefore, it is important that management along with the legal and HR department come up with a set of guidelines for their employees to make the transition from being physically in office to remote collaboration smoother.

Here is a list of best practices that businesses in India can refer to while operating remotely. These tips will ensure smooth business operations and well-being of the employees. Follow the latest India COVID-19 updates here.

Read the complete article here.


An Introduction to Doing Business in Indonesia 2020

ASEAN briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

The government has vowed to continue implementing prudent macroeconomic policies and structural reforms to further enhance the ease of doing business and improve the country’s investment climate. These include issuing various tax incentives as well as widening the number of positions open to expatriate workers.

An Introduction to Doing Business in Indonesia 2020 covers the following:

  • Corporate establishment;
  • Tax and accounting; and
  • Human resources and payroll.

Access the publication here


COVID-19: Tax Reliefs in Russia

Short news from BEITEN BURKHARDT

As part of measures to support the economy, the Russian Government issued Decree No. 409 dated April 2, 2020 introducing a tax deferral.

The right to apply the tax and insurance payment deferral for a period from 3 to 6 months is granted to small and medium-sized enterprises in the industries, which have been most affected by the spread of the coronavirus infection. At the same time the deadlines for the filing of tax returns have been extended. In addition, the said enterprises have been granted a moratorium on field tax audits.

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Indonesia Employment Issues During COVID-19

ASEAN briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

Working from home

The government has stipulated three approaches to working from home. These are:

  • The temporary closure of the business with employees working from their respective homes;
  • The temporary reduction in working hours, the number of employees working, and reduction in business operations; or
  • Businesses that are unable to fulfill the previous two obligations because they have a direct impact in relation to vital sectors, such as health services, energy, food and beverages, among others.

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Q&A: The Impact of COVID-19 and Guidance for Employers

Vietnam briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

COVID-19 has resulted in an inevitable global shutdown frustrating businesses, investors, supply chains and Human Resource (HR) functions.

What started out as limited business disruption due to the low number of cases has now affected most if not all businesses. While Vietnam has controlled the pandemic relatively well, the government on March 31 issued Directive No. 16/CT/TTg – its strongest measures yet on social distancing nationwide until April 15. The directives also states that factories and businesses providing essential goods can remain open.

Two major concerns of our clients in Vietnam are labor shortages, and disruptions to supply chains.

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COVID-19 Global Outbreaks: Coordinating Your Remote Business Operations

While the COVID-19 outbreak poses a short-term challenge for businesses, in the medium- to long-term it may actually provide the catalyst for companies to adopt the remote working concept, supplemented by the wide range of technology tools already available to increase worker efficiency. Indeed, it may herald the final nail in the coffin for the “traditional industries” – bricks and mortar retail, the leasing of physical office environments, and even offline consumer banking.

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The Top 10 Questions You Can Expect To Be Asked At An Interview For A Top Management Position

HR updates from Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

Whether you are applying for an entry-level job or are being invited to fill a position in senior management, everyone gets to sit on the other side of the interview table. 

So what questions should you expect when being interviewed for a senior level position?

CT Executive Search specializes in the recruitment of candidates to executive positions in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Hence, many of our recruitment experts are often approached by potential candidates looking for advice on what to expect during the interview process. 

So here is a list of the most likely questions you should get ready to answer when applying for an executive position.

Read the complete update here.


Coronavirus – Legal Recommendations for Business in Russia

Short news from BEITEN BURKHARDT

Labour law issues

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing companies to adopt measures to protect the health of their employees and continue operations. Quarantine requirements and limitations on the time spent in offices and business trips complicate the standardisation working process and compliance with the requirements of labour legislation. Accordingly, we recommend that employers consider implementing flexible work models. In particular, the ideal solutions would be remote working and the Home Office/Remote Work regime.

  • Both options may be introduced for a specific time period and subsequently extended.
  • To introduce both regimes, supplemental agreements to employment contracts must be concluded, while the establishment of the Home Office regime also requires the adoption of an internal regulation.

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Executive Search During The Coronavirus Pandemic

An update from Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

In the current situation, we get a lot of questions from companies and candidates. We would like to answer the most common of them in this information sheet.

Are companies still recruiting managers in the current situation?

All of our mandates that started prior to the pandemic and the resulting restrictions have been continued. So far, none of the ongoing executive searches have been discontinued or interrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, we are observing that new executive search assignments are being postponed because companies have a considerable need for internal clarification and coordination.

Manufacturing companies are struggling to keep up business because of extensive and ever-changing travel restrictions as well as the closure of kindergartens and schools. In addition, there are the challenges arising from the partial switch to working remotely. 

Read the complete update here



Protection of posted workers, self-employed and remote employees in Latvia

Legal news from bnt attorneys in CEE

New legal amendments in Latvia will ensure effective labour protection.

The Labour Protection Law has been substantially amended. The changes concern the safety and health protection of remote employees as well as of self-employed persons.

In the case of remote employment, a risk assessment of the work environment must be carried out for the type of work if carried out in different places; in turn, the employer does not have to check each workplace in person. Under the principle of integrity of privacy, visiting a home as a designated workplace is only allowed with the employee’s consent. The employee must cooperate with the employer in assessing the risks of the working environment.

In future the self-employed will have to follow the general principles of labour protection, as far as this is consistent with the nature of the work to be carried out.

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An article from BEITEN BURKHARDT

The coronavirus continues to spread and more and more companies are affected. To ensure that you are well prepared for the questions of your employees and that the company gets through the next weeks and months safely, the most important topics will be dealt with here. After all, information and the right communication are the best means against uncertainty among employees.

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Slovakia: Prepared measures to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

An update from bnt attorneys in CEE

Which of the prepared measures would be most significant for employers?

In connection with the current situation in Slovakia we bring you an overview of the prepared governmental measures to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on entrepreneurs and their employees. Below is a brief overview of the measures that would be most significant for employers.

1. Exemption of wages from social and health contributions and from income tax

The exemption of wages from social and health contributions and from income tax for employees who cannot work because of government measures. The measure is aimed at employers who have had to close down their businesses or have lost orders due to the government's decision.

Read the complete update here


Changes and amendements to the Belarus 2020 Labour Code

An article from Brand & Partner

28 January 2020, the new edition of the Labour Code came into force in Belarus. The Labour Code has been subjected to many changes and amendments. Let us address the most important ones.


1. There have been added extra requirements that regulate employment agreements.

Now each page of an employment agreement and annexes to it must be numbered and signed by the parties. Previously, an employment agreement was only to be made in writing in two original copies and signed by both parties.

2. The time period for documenting the act of hiring has been shortened.

The actual authorization for work must be documented no later than on the day following the day of authorization for work. In other words, an employment agreement must be signed and a CEO hiring order must be issued within this time period.

Previously, this period used to be three days following the employee's request for documenting the act of employment.

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Operating Your China Business During a Crisis and Contagious Disease Outbreaks

A special edition of the China Briefing magazine by Dezan Shira & Associates

Businesses across China were disrupted early this year due to the novel Covid-19 outbreak. The nature of this outbreak has led to some fast-thinking on the part of business organizations throughout the world – who have had to balance the quarantine conditions imposed with the need to resume normal work processes and await resumption of supplies. In this special edition of China Briefing magazine, we identify key concerns for business managers during such crises, including: 

  • managing a remote workforce,
  • using IT solutions to navigate business operations more efficiently and securely,
  • addressing the legal risks in case contractual obligations are not satisfied.

Get your copy here


Vietnam Business Operations and the Coronavirus: Updates

A special update from Dezan Shira & Associates

  • Vietnam on March 9 suspended the visa waiver program for 8 additional countries: Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France, and Spain amid growing concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Beginning March 3, Italian nationals will no longer be granted visa-free entry into Vietnam in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, ethnic Vietnamese from South Korean and Italy will longer be granted visa-free entry from March 8.
  • Vietnam’s labor ministry announced that it will stop issuing new work permits to foreigners who come from areas hit by COVID-19.
  • Vietnam stopped issuing visas for Chinese tourists on January 30 as a temporary measure. Foreign visitors who have visited mainland China (including transit) in the past 14 days from arrival will also be denied entry into Vietnam.

Read the complete update here


Singapore Launches Tech@SG Program

ASEAN briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

  • In January 2020, Singapore launched the Tech@SG program, which helps local tech companies recruit highly-skilled foreign talents.
  • Companies that qualify are eligible to receive up to 10 new Employment Passes (EPs), valid for two years.
  • Companies must pass the eligibility criteria, such as digital or technology-based products or services as part of their core business.
  • Foreign workers must also pass the eligibility criteria, which includes having a salary of SG3,600 (US$2,590).

In January 2020, Singapore’s government launched the Tech@SG program, which aims to help Singapore-based technology companies recruit highly-skilled foreign talent, and expand in the region.

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HR Compliance in China during the Coronavirus Outbreak: FAQs

Questions for HR related to the coronavirus outbreak

Q1. If an employee is infected with the novel coronavirus pneumonia, does the company have the right to terminate the labor relationship with the employee?

According to Article 42 of the PRC Labor Contract Law, “Under any of the following circumstances, the employer shall not terminate a labor contract pursuant to the provisions of Article 40 and Article 41…during the stipulated medical treatment period of an employee suffering from illness or non-work-related injury.”

Article 40 clarifies three circumstances where the company is able to terminate the employee who does not commit a breach of internal rules and policies. Article 41 stipulates details concerning economic redundancy. Therefore, if your employee is infected with the novel coronavirus pneumonia and he/she is either at home or in hospital, by law they are classed as being under medical treatment, and the company is unable to terminate the labor relationship with this employee.

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